Mloyi looks back on the glory days

“Ibhola seliphelile, iHighlanders iwinile (it is game-over and Highlanders has won),” sang Zexie Manatsa in one of the many odes by local musicians to a then all-conquering generation of the Bulawayo giants.


Those were the days when Bosso were famed as “Cup Kings” in the country and when Barbourfields Stadium was a slaughter point for many a team. Musicians like Manatsa, Lovemore Majaivana and Ndux Malax recorded songs giving praise to the boys in black and white.

One of the names that resonates with soccer lovers of that time is that of Douglas “British” Mloyi. He starred in that well-oiled machine with the likes of Lawrence Phiri, Edward Dzowa, Zenzo Dabengwa, Boet Van Ays, Martin Kennedy, James and Josiah Nxumalo, Stanley Nyika, Barry Daka and Bruce Grobbelaar.

Still as strong as a stallion, Mloyi (57) now runs sportswear company Sporting Kings in the city centre.

He still plays the game with Cosmos Pirates at a social level, after it doctors suggested it when he was diagnosed with high blood pressure a few years ago.

“I count myself lucky that my health problem can be cured by an exercise I love the most. I had somewhat left the sport, but after the doctors advice, I have been reunited with football,” he added.

His company is one of the biggest sportswear sellers in the city. Mloyi, who played soccer between 1974 and 1987, won virtuously everything on offer in the local scene. He recounted his early days:

“Competition in the first team made it difficult for me to get a break. Even when I got the chance, it became difficult to make a regular start, under the rebuilding exercise of Silas Ndlovu.” His most difficult opponent was former Caps United great Shaky Tauro, while former Dynamos defender Sunday Chidzambga, remains his best partner in the national team.

Most memorably at independence in 1980, Mloyi marshalled the Bosso defence in a 4-0 rout of Rio Tinto in the Chibuku Trophy final. He followed that with a 3-2 win over Dynamos in the inaugural Heroes Day Trophy the same year. The first of his 14 national team call-ups was for the CECAFA tournament.

He has scored one international goal for Bosso in the Cup Winners Cup tournament against Zanzibar’s Miembeni FC. His glittering career ended after a Highlanders tour of Germany in 1987, having won the BAT Rosebowl, Chibuku Trophy, Rothmans Shield, Heroes Shield, Independence Cup and Castle Cup. “I did not receive any red cards, but people claim that I played rough. I was just a hard-tackler.” He has also tried his hand in coaching with Highlanders Juniors and some lower division teams.

Post published in: Football

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